HEARTBROKEN family members are being comforted after police searching for missing Portland teenager Samuel White said a body had been found.

The tragic discovery was made in the Westcliff area on the island yesterday.

Although the body has not yet been formally identified, police believe it to be Samuel’s and his family have been informed.

Police said significant resources had been used in the search for Samuel.

Officers thanked the community for their help and assistance.

Budmouth College sixth former Samuel, 16, had not been seen since he left his home in West Wools, Southwell, on Sunday night.

His disappearance sparked a huge search involving police, coastguards and the RNLI – and led to the community rallying round to help with the effort, distributing posters and appealing for information.

Earlier this week, Samuel’s mother Gaynor White made an emotional appeal through the Echo for her son to come home.

Police said Mrs White and her family are being supported by specially-trained officers.

Weymouth and Portland Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Yeoman, said: “Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with them at this extremely difficult time.

"His family has requested privacy from the media."

He added: “The coroner has been notified and at this stage we do not believe there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.”

A body was found on Portland just after 1pm yesterday.

Police said the discovery was made by specialist search teams along the coastline near to Grangecroft car park.

A stretch of the coast path was cordoned off for several hours yesterday following the discovery.

Around 20 uniformed police, paramedics and coastguard officers were seen at the location.

Police guarded public entrances to the coast path while specialist cliff rescue teams worked at the scene.

Insp Yeoman said: “Significant resources were deployed in the search for Samuel since he went missing and I would like to thank HM Coastguard, the NPAS helicopter, Dorset Search and Rescue, Hampshire Search and Rescue Dogs, Wessex 4x4 Response, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service and the staff of The Kimberlin Club for their support.

“We would also like to thank the community of Portland for their help and assistance throughout.”

Yesterday, a message on a Facebook group set up to help find Samuel said: “On behalf of Gaynor, Matt, Oliver and Ben I am heartbroken to inform you that Sam has been found, unfortunately it wasn’t the outcome we all hoped and prayed for.

“Please could we ask you to respect the family’s privacy at this devastating time.”